No shuttle; did this out and back from the horse lot straight north along various cowboy trails on the high ridges overlooking the creek and coming back down entering just before the spring - out to my turn around point just ahead of the mandatory full swim near the end.
It was perfect weather for this hike. I spent more than half of the time wading, but it felt more refreshing than cold. Last year when I did this one with Bruce, there was hardly any water until we got to the very end, even though it was still a full swim to get out. But, this time it was a river all the way. I'd forgotten how beautiful this route was, even more so with flowing water, and I wished I didn't have to turn back when I did. The best part was just ahead, but it would have taken me another hour in that section just to add that last 1/10th mile. But, I had known that would be the deal going into it and decided that taking trip would be worth it, anyway. It was!
This is another fabulous hike that seems largely overlooked, although, I was surprised to see a single set of fresh footprints going out on the same route. I was continually amazed that without trying to follow them, as they were only visible in spots, we both took identical paths all the way, going in and out of the creek in the same exact places. Either, my route finding skills have gotten a lot better, or there's someone else running around alone out there that ought to have supervision!
There were no prints coming back from the other direction and I didn't notice any bodies lying around, so maybe hitching is making a comeback. When I got close to the end and wanted to keep going, I actually considered it. But, I wasn't planning on doing the full swim so I didn't bring floatation for my gear. Besides, who would want a soaking wet, sand covered stranger jumping into their car? And, riding back in the bed of a pick-up truck just wasn't appealing.
The trip out took me 5 hours, but that included the extra time needed to avoid getting wet during the early morning chill, two twenty minute breaks and taking most of my photos (since I would be facing the sun all the way back).
I made the return trip in 3 hours, including 2 stops to take off my boots and rinse the sand and rocks out of them. * Yes, Angela... I'm finally taking your advice and double tie-ing them now
, and what a pain to un
tie when they're wet! (She would have to constantly inform me that my shoe was coming untied and make me stop and fix it, saying she didn't think she could carry me very far if I fell and broke something! )
I didn't see anyone else all day.
I just love this place!